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Old 06-15-2012, 12:03 AM   #1
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Bugs and Other Critters

OK, the big no-no, and I don't see anyone else addressing it (if I've missed something, please feel free to delete and redirect me, site moderators).

What do we do about the garden (and soul!) destroying critters. Most of my friends are complaining about rabbits and deer. Luckily I only see deer in my neighborhood in the dead of winter, and usually harsh ones at that (when I was dog-less, one year a doe to residence in our yard for a day and we loved it! But it was a harsh winter, no plant life was involved). Rabbits have not been an issue in my yard, even for the year I was dog free, although I know they live in neighboring yards.

But for me the problem is insects. Especially in my greens patch. As far as I can see the culprits are earwigs (pincher bugs) and rolly pollies (I'm sure there's a real name for both of them). So far they seem impervious to so-called "natural" remedies. I don't know if they're the problem, or some other bug I cannot see. In one garden there seems to be a very small, worm-ish creature in the soil (NOT earthworms; them I've been known to move to where I think they are needed, these are really small, less than an inch long, and very thin).

Right now my greens bed is empty (already got a crop of spinach and one of romaine out of it, can get one more in before the neighboring tomato bed takes over). If I can treat the soil with some kind of insecticide, then wait for awhile and plant a new lettuce crop (before it gets too hot and the tomatoes decide to live there) for one last one, it would be nice. Any ideas?

Otherwise next summer I may just do the soil sterilization bit (black plastic over it for a summer and bake the things). I hate to do that, because right now I have greens, herbs and tomatoes right out my kitchen door.

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Old 06-15-2012, 12:12 AM   #2
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Sounds like you might have cutworms. I'm not great with knowing what to do for stuff like that. I haven't had too many issues that some crushed eggshell mixed into the dirt around my stuff hasn't been able to take care of. I'll ask my MIL though, she's aces at all this.

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Old 06-15-2012, 12:20 AM   #3
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Gee, we don't eat a lot of eggs, but when we do, I'll remember that!
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Old 06-15-2012, 12:36 AM   #4
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Works beautifully for slugs and other crawlies. They get cut up and won't go over them. The bonus is that tomatoes need calcium! Keeps them from getting blossom rot.
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Old 06-15-2012, 01:04 AM   #5
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Don't have much of a slug problem here (some years), but in Hawaii and Florida, they were a huge menace. Never heard of eggshells! The advice in those days was putting out saucers of beer and supposedly the slugs would be attracted and then drown. The truth is I never found a dead slug in a saucer of beer, and still found plenty munching down on food. So I always had this mental picture of night time debauchery, with slugs partying in my garden, drinking beer and eating my plants!
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Old 06-15-2012, 03:55 AM   #6
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Don't have much of a slug problem here (some years), but in Hawaii and Florida, they were a huge menace. Never heard of eggshells! The advice in those days was putting out saucers of beer and supposedly the slugs would be attracted and then drown. The truth is I never found a dead slug in a saucer of beer, and still found plenty munching down on food. So I always had this mental picture of night time debauchery, with slugs partying in my garden, drinking beer and eating my plants!
bet they'd taste delish tho' claire.....ready marinated slug!
i think the problem with a lot of the natural(beer etc) & chemical solutions are that they work by attracting the nasties then killing 'em & if they don't kill 'em,too late they know where dinner is!
GARLIC! it's a natural repellant(ask anyone you've tried to snog(kiss) after a curry!) & insecticide.boil up a load of garlic in water,allow it to cool & water on your plants & soil.keeps slugs,snails,wireworm & other nasties away.
madge de fraille was plagued by slugs etc in her raised salad bed but this year i planted a few rows of garlic in the bed,we've had one of the mildest winters/wettest springs on record so we should have a plague of slugs etc...not one in the salads....more than coincidence?
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Old 06-15-2012, 04:05 AM   #7
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Works beautifully for slugs and other crawlies. They get cut up and won't go over them. The bonus is that tomatoes need calcium! Keeps them from getting blossom rot.
spot on with the eggshells alix,cinders from the fire grate work for the same reason.slugs/snails hate the rough surface & the cinders put potash back in the soil
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:13 AM   #8
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I have lots of both--egg shells and wood ashes. I typically feed the egg shells to the girls (they need calcium to make more eggs), but do put the wood ashes on the gardens if I notice slugs...the Colorado Potato beetle is driving me crazy right now.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:34 AM   #9
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As Harry wrote, use garlic. This is the recipe I was told: garlic, onion, hot pepper, water - put it in the blender (raw). Let it sit for a while; strain it; then use it as a spray. I got another recipe: take some of the leaves with bugs on them and put that in the blender with some water. Strain the water and use that as repellent. The bugs have to be live. They will give off pheromones that communicate fear, danger, etc. to other bugs.
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:38 AM   #10
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I think the best way to find out what is happening in your local area is to talk to someone at the local cooperative extension service or a good plant nursery with a well-trained staff. Here's a link to the Illinois Extension Service.
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